The Newsletter 72 Autumn 2015

Religious violence in South(East) Asia: domestic and transnational drivers of intolerance against Muslim minorities

Maaike MatelskiMarit van Liere

Buddhist and Hindu majority societies of South(East) Asia are not traditionally associated with conflict and intolerance. Yet recent years have seen a surge in international reports of religious tensions and violence perpetrated by Buddhist and Hindu majorities against Muslim minorities in the region. A seminar on this topic was organised by VU University’s Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and the International Institute for Asian Studies on Monday 15 June 2015. The seminar was opened by Ton Salman and Maaike Matelski from VU University, who explained the department’s interest in the apparent rise in intolerance towards Muslim minorities in the region. Recent news reports of Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing Myanmar by boat are a reminder that this has now become a matter of regional or even global concern.